Musician was 53.

David Schnaufer, who brought dulcimer to recordings of artists ranging from Chet Atkins to Cyndi Lauper, died yesterday (Aug. 23) in Nashville of cancer. He was 53.

A native of Texas, Schnaufer lifted dulcimer playing to new prominence in Nashville. He was able to bring a ringing, chiming rock and country sensibility to the traditional Appalachian stringed instrument. According to the Nashville Tennessean, he is the only dulcimer player to earn enough recording credits to join the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).

Among the artists Schnaufer recorded with were Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Jr., and Mark Knopfler. He was a recording and touring member of country rock outfit the Cactus Brothers in the early 1990s, playing on their debut self-titled album released in 1993. He also released two albums of his own, "Delcimore" and "Dulcimer Deluxe."

Schnaufer also taught dulcimer at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music in Nashville, and was an historian of the instrument.